Template for Domination
Profits were for those who pursued business relentlessly, ” reflected Joseph Butler, one of Carnegie's peers in the steel industry. 1 Certainly, that importunate pursuit and absolute discipline in managing the steel mill were necessary to survive the first years of Edgar Thomson's (E.T.) operation, but while Carnegie garnered a reputation as a management genius, it was, in fact, his top lieutenants who greatly influenced his philosophy and efforts during this initial struggle. They were indispensable in hiring a motivated labor force, introducing progressive manufacturing processes, and managing that all-important fixation—costs.
To Carnegie's amusement and benefit, he quickly discovered that Captain Jones considered himself on equal footing with any man—Jones's salutation for Edgar Thomson's majority shareholder was not Mr. Carnegie, but simply Andy, and to Carnegie Jones was always Bill—and fearlessly expressed his opinions on the business. Shortly before E.T. opened, Jones presented his management manifesto, which set the tone:
1st. We must be careful of what class of men we collect. We must steer clear of the West where men are accustomed to infernal high wages. We must steer clear as far as we can of Englishmen who are great sticklers for high wages, small production and strikes. My experience has shown that Germans and Irish, Swedes and what I denominate “Buckwheats”—young American country boys, judiciously mixed, make the most effective and tractable force you can find. Scotsmen do very well, are honest and faithful. Welsh can be used in limited numbers. But mark me, Englishmen have been the worst class of men I have had anything to do with; and this is the opinion of Mr. Holley, George and John Fritz.
2nd. It should be the aim of the firm to keep the works running steadily. This is one of the secrets of Cambria low wages. The workmen, taking year in and year out, do better at Cambria than elsewhere. On steady work you can calculate low wages.
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Publication information: Book title: Carnegie. Contributors: Peter Krass - Author. Publisher: Wiley. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 130.
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